TamTam Books News

Wednesday, September 14, 2005:

re: Wallace Berman and His Circle

For those who are in the area - feel free to come to the opening on Friday September 16th at the Santa Monica Museum.

Here's the info:

Opening Reception
Friday, September 16
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Members' Preview: Walk-through with Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Public Opening
Bergamot Station G1: 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica CA 90404

September 17 - November 26, 2005

Project Room I:

click for more

September 17 - November 26, 2005

Guest curators:
Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna

From September 17 to November 26, 2005 Santa Monica Museum of Art presents Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle, co-curated by Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna. An important artist of the post World War II generation, Wallace Berman was a catalyst and inspirational mentor, carrying the ideas and ideals of one group of people to another as he moved through a wide spectrum of creative, social, and political circles during the fifties and sixties in Southern California. This is the first major museum examination of the significance of the charismatic Berman-his eclectic worldview and non-nine-to-five lifestyle. It includes the complete loose-leaf run of Semina-a hand-printed, free form art and poetry journal that Berman published and personally distributed-and artworks by contributors to Semina, as well as by those who were part of the close-knit "Semina Culture" community-largely people from the West Coast. The exhibition and accompanying catalog offer breakthrough insights and rigorous scholarship about an emerging counterculture whose rich array of innovative artistic voices contrasted with the cultural conformity of Eisenhower-era America.

In addition to the complete Semina publication-an iconic document of Berman's idiosyncratic artistic point-of-view-the exhibition includes over fifty of Berman's own photographs, recently printed from vintage negatives and shown for the first time; a compelling selection of publications and documents integral to the world of "Semina Culture;" and rarely exhibited works in a variety of mediums by forty-eight artists, friends, and collaborators in Wallace Berman's artistic projects: Robert Alexander, John Altoon, Toni Basil, Paul Beattie, Ray and Bonnie Bremser, Charles Brittin, Joan Brown, Cameron, Bruce Conner, Jean Conner, Jay DeFeo, Diane DiPrima, Kirby Doyle, Bobby Driscoll, Robert Duncan, Joe Dunn, Llyn Foulkes, Loree Foxx, Ralph Gibson, Allen Ginsberg, Billy Gray, George Herms, Jack Hirschman, Dennis Hopper, Billy Jahrmarkt, Jess, Lawrence Jordan, Patricia Jordan, Bob Kaufman, Philip Lamantia, William Margolis, Michael McClure, Taylor Mead, David Meltzer, Henry Miller, Stuart Perkoff, John Reed, Arthur Richer, Rachel Rosenthal, Jack Smith, Dean Stockwell, Ben Talbert, Russel Tamblyn, Aya (Tarlow), Edmund Teske, Zack Walsh, Lew Welch, and John Wieners. These artists of the "beat" generation created works infused with memory, lyricism, and a sense of the ephemeral. Art was a joyful and creative expression for these iconoclasts, not a means to an art world career. Their approach to the purpose and formal nature of art and culture existed on a vastly different track from the canonical traditions of abstract expressionism, minimalism, and postmodernism.

The comprehensive catalog that documents the exhibition is published and distributed by SMMoA and DAP. Semina Culture will travel to the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, Utah (January 10-March 15, 2006); the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas (April 21-July 9, 2006); the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California (October 17-December 10, 2006); and The Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York, New York (January 16-March 31, 2007).
Related Programs:

Opening Reception
Friday, September 16
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Members' Preview: Walk-through with Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Public Opening

Saturday, September 17, 3:00 pm
Double Exposure: A Photographic Portrait of the California Underground
Featuring the never-before-printed photographs by Wallace Berman on view in the exhibition, with commentary by Charles Brittin and Russel Tamblyn, moderated by Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna Free admission

Sunday, September 25, 5:00 pm
Beat Cinema
Presented by the American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue at 14th Street
Santa Monica, CA

This 90-minute program of short films includes Wallace Berman's only film, the mysteriously beautiful Aleph (1956-66), as well as Curtis Harrington's rarely seen record of artist Cameron's studio, Wormwood Star (1956). Bruce Conner is represented by his eight-minute masterpiece, A Movie (1958); The White Rose (1967), a lyrical tribute to Jay DeFeo; Breakaway (1966), a stunning precursor to MTV featuring the gorgeous Toni Basil; and Cosmic Ray (1961). Four shorts by Lawrence Jordan include Triptych in Four Parts (1958); Duo Concertantes (1964); Cornell 1965 (1965-79); and Our Lady of the Sphere (1969), an example of his amazing collage animation. The program will also include two rarely screened shorts by Academy Award nominee Russell Tamblyn, First Film (1964-66) and Rio Reel (1967-68). Filmmakers Curtis Harrington and Russell Tamblyn will be present at the screening.

Tickets available the day of the event; box office opens 2 hours prior to show time
General $9; Student/Senior $7; AC Member $6.
Street parking only.

For more information, please visit www.americancinematheque.com, or call 323.466.FILM

Friday, October 21, 7:00 pm
Beat Thing
David Meltzer reads excerpts from his epic poem examining the multiple narratives of post-war American history, with musical accompaniment by Roberto Miranda and Crosscover
Free Admission

Sunday, November 6, 7:00 pm
Walk Into My Voice: American Beat Poetry
Presented by Spaceland Productions at Barnsdall Gallery Theater
4800 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

An evening of music and spoken word by Harold Budd, Anna Domino, and Daniel Lentz, inspired by the writings of Michael McClure, Philip Lamantia, Kenneth Patchen, Denise Levertov, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane Wakoski, and Jack Kerouac.

Tickets available at ticketweb.com;
$15 advanced purchase, $17 day of show
For more information, please visit attheecho.com
or call 323.662.7728

Friday, November 18, 7:00 pm
Booksigning and Reading
Tosh Berman, founder of TamTam Books and co-editor of Boris Vian's Manual of Saint-Germain-Des-Prés (Rizzoli, 2005), compares American Beat culture with the artistic milieu of late 1940s Paris. Berman will present rare recordings and images of the Paris underground; Paul Knobloch, translator of the Vian Manual, will read excerpts.
Free Admission

Support for the exhibition and catalog Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle has been provided by Philip Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons, LLWW Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pasadena Art Alliance; and Writers Boot Camp. Special thanks to Blowfish Sushi, Hangar One Vodka, and Izzy Soda

Tosh Berman
TamTam Books

Tosh // 7:55 AM

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